Register by September 10 to reserve your seat at one of three locations


processed food example

Jams, jellies and baked goods are examples of valued-added food products made by producers for sale directly to the public. 



SPRING HILL, Tenn. –
Farmers and gardeners who end up with excess produce or who want to find a use for less-than-best quality produce – items that would normally go to waste – often look for ways to add value by making the produce into another product., such as jams and jellies, salsas, juices or baked goods.

To help fruit and vegetable producers interested in starting their own food processing enterprises, University of Tennessee Extension is bringing Pennsylvania
State Extension’s popular food processing education program to Tennessee. This is the second time that UT Extension will have presented the workshop.

In September, the Food for Profit workshop will be repeated three times across the state, each time taking participants step by step through the information necessary to start and run a small food product business. Each workshop will provide information that participants will be able to use immediately to ensure that their business starts out and grows in a way that matches their vision and goals. Topics covered include the realities of a food business by a local food manufacturer, regulatory requirements, packaging, safe food handling, marketing, financing and developing a game plan. 

Food for Profit will be held September 17 in Jackson, September 18 in Clarksville and September 24 in White Pine. There is a registration fee of $30 per person. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required by September 10.

In Tennessee, 3,551 farms reported producing and selling value-added products on the 2012 Census of Agriculture. That is an increase of 30.6 percent from 2007.

“Farmers may use their extra fruits and vegetables, herbs, nuts, honey or other farm products to make jams and jellies, salsas and chow chows, juices and wines, breads, pies or any number of other tasty treats,” says Megan Bruch Leffew, marketing specialist with University of Tennessee Extension Center for Profitable Agriculture. “However, producers who want to sell items they manufacture must adhere to regulatory requirements and approach their venture with business and marketing plans.”

“Whether canning, pickling, drying, baking, fermenting or freezing, starting a food processing business is challenging,” according to Faith Critzer, assistant professor in the UT Department of Food Science and Technology. “Understanding food manufacturing regulations and learning how to produce foods safely are vital pieces of the food processing puzzle.”

Workshops are limited to 25 participants per location. Workshops not having an adequate number of registrations by the early registration deadline may be cancelled. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. local time. Lunch will be provided.

This workshop qualifies as one course toward the educational requirements to receive
the 50 percent Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) cost share for ONLY: Fruits and Vegetables and Value-Added diversification sectors. These workshops are funded, in part, through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant and administered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

For more information about these workshops or to register online, visit the Center for Profitable Agriculture website at
ag.tennessee.edu/cpa and click on “Educational Events.” Contact Megan Bruch Leffew with questions at 931-486-2777 or email mleffew@utk.edu.

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a cooperative effort between UT Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.
Learn more on the Center’s website.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

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Contact:


Megan Bruch Leffew, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777,
mlbruch@utk.edu